Two Hearts

Resources

The factsheets below will provide you with information on these two pregnancy complications.

Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time. It is an important life stage where a mother’s health and the health of the baby are consistently monitored. Although most pregnancies are not complicated by any serious problems, some women may have specific health issues, or pregnancy-related problems, which need to be carefully looked after and monitored.

Two common problems during pregnancy are when a woman’s blood sugar gets too high, called gestational diabetes, and when her blood pressure rises, known as high blood pressure during pregnancy. These issues are grouped together as complications that can affect a woman’s future heart health.

High blood pressure

If diagnosed and left untreated, high blood pressure during pregnancy can result in conditions such as pre-eclampsia for the mother and early (or preterm) birth for the baby.

High blood sugar

If diagnosed and left untreated, high blood sugar during pregnancy can result in other pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia or changes to your birth plan. The baby may be born early (preterm) or grow larger than it should.

Our Study

If these conditions develop during your pregnancy, the doctors and your maternity clinic will keep an eye on them. In this study, we will give you extra help to stay healthy and lower the chances of getting these issues. We’ll give you information, management strategies and tips to keep you and your baby safe during and after pregnancy.

How will we do this?

Women in their first trimester of pregnancy who have been selected during their care at Monash Health antenatal clinics will be invited to participate in a program over ~24 weeks during their pregnancy. Women will meet with a trained health coach who is an accredited dietitian or registered nutritionist to work through a personalised health education program and goal setting journey.

Our Pregnancy Program

Women in their first trimester of pregnancy who have been selected during their care at Monash Health antenatal clinics will be invited to participate in a program over ~24 weeks during their pregnancy. Women will meet with a trained health coach who is an accredited dietitian or registered nutritionist to work through a personalised heath education program and goal setting journey.

There are two different versions of the Two Hearts program. One is a low intensity version of the program which will involve having one appointment with a health coach during pregnancy. This session will be in addition to the standard antenatal care that is provided by Monash Health, if you develop a pregnancy condition.

The other version is a comprehensive program. This will include having three appointments with a health coach during pregnancy, also in addition to the standard antenatal care provided by Monash Health. We want to understand which version is the most helpful for women. If you are eligible, the researcher will randomly allocate you to the high or low-intensity program. This random allocation is like flipping a coin or rolling a dice to decide which group you are assigned to. You don’t get to choose which version of the program you will be invited to join.

Once we have allocated you to the low-intensity or comprehensive program, we will provide more information about the program and what to expect. You will learn which program you have been allocated to,based on the overall program and session outline provided by the researcher. After receiving this information, you can choose not to participate in the program if you do not want to. You will be asked to read through the information and provide your consent if you are interested in participating in the program.

Our After-Birth Program

Following the birth of baby, women diagnosed with gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or preeclampsia during pregnancy, and who completed the pregnancy program, will be invited to participate in a postpartum follow-up program.

The time after a new baby is born may bring feelings of wonder, delight and joy. But many women will experience physical, emotional and social changes that can be tricky to deal with while caring for a new baby. The postpartum program is an opportunity to re-connect with your health coach, learn new and improved ways of eating well and staying active with a new baby, and discuss mental health positives or challenges during this time. Remember that your goals are important in helping the baby’s health and development. We will reflect on practical strategies to help you to achieve your goals.

What do I do next?

If you would like to be involved in the study, you may contact the study Co-ordinator Dr Anj Reddy on 0468 733 432 or email twohearts@monash.edu.